1st Marine Aircraft Wing triggers people on Twitter with photo

| March 12, 2021

The 1st MAW sent out what they thought was an innocuous tweet. A Marine flying over Okinawa took a snapshot of a gorgeous sunset over the Japanese city, with the Wing sharing it. As happens with some regularity, social media being the bane of modern existence, the post drew lots of ire. Why? Because there was one of those scary black metal pew-pew things.

Stars and Stripes reports;

The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing removed a tweet Monday of an Okinawa sunset photographed from a helicopter in flight after it provoked a sizeable negative response.

The sunset wasn’t the problem, according to local media reports, but the view included the barrel of a .50-caliber machine gun and the caption: “Oki views! A view down the barrel with HMH-465 ‘Warhorse’ on a recent flight in Okinawa!!” The caption included the hashtags #FightNow and #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific.

The photo showed two CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 returning to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan city after a training mission, wing spokesman Maj. Ken Kunze said in an email Thursday to Stars and Stripes.

“The weapon in the lower left of the photo that is pointing away from any populated area below was locked in the up position for travel and no Marine was manning it when the photo was taken,” he wrote.

Nonetheless, The Okinawa Times, for one, reported the tweet as insensitive for depicting weaponry being flown over Okinawa cities.

“Ordinary residents get startled when they see guns,” even though they often see service members carrying them, Takashi Kishimoto, director of Okinawa Heiwa Undo Center, or Okinawa Peace Movement Center, told Stars and Stripes by phone Thursday. “It is unthinkable from the residents’ point of view to post a photo showing guns.”

Kunze maintains the wing’s Twitter account and posted the tweet Sunday, he said during a follow-up phone call Thursday with Stars and Stripes. Typically, the wing’s posts get about 10,000 impressions, he said. This tweet went from about 10,000 to about 90,000 in 24 hours’ time.

“The focus of the photo was the sunset and the weapon in the foreground was incidental,” Kunze said. “Our aircraft fly around Okinawa frequently with weapons mounted while transiting to training areas … Weapons are always locked in an elevated position while in transit and Marines are not manning them.”

Kunze said the photograph drew many positive comments but also attracted many vulgar and misleading ones. He said he took the tweet down because he could not respond to all the negative and misleading remarks, not because he believed the tweet was inappropriate.

“The post was taken down because inappropriate and misleading comments were being made,” Kunze said in his email. “Some of the comments were vulgar and it was suspected that some of the responses and re-tweets were being promoted by individuals outside of Japan in an attempt to spread the misleading information.”

Okinawa Prefectural Officials declined to comment Thursday. Ginowan city officials did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Marines have weapons? The unmitigated gall of those Devil Dogs.

Category: Guns, Marines

Comments (27)

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  1. KoB says:

    Oh FFS, quit clutching your pearls, get the sand out of your manginas, and give thanks to your Deity that the US Marines are there protecting your asses. When the Chinese Communists start dis-embarking from their container sized/type troops carriers, you will wish that those scary black pew pew things were still there to defend you. The Chinese Communists are still a little pissed about what the Japanese did in Nanking back yonder.

    Here’s a novel thought. Make Okinawa an American Territory. After all, that dirt was bought and paid for with American Blood. And it’s big enough that additional Troops and Equipment would not cause it to tip over.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Very good points.

      Japan only annexed Okinawa in 1879, when they deposed King Sho Tai, the last independent Okinawan king.
      After that, Japan repressed Okinawan culture, going as far as banning the original Okinawan language, in an attempt to make them Japanese.

    • rgr1480 says:

      Unfortunately we returned Okinawa to Japan on May 15, 1972. Until then the US dollar was coin of the realm and you drove on the right-hand side of the road.

      If you really want to piss off an Okinawan, tell him his island is just an unsinkable US aircraft carrier.

      I have a strong dislike of Okinawan and Japanese peace-nicks (not general Japanese), and I really get irritated when they play the victim card regarding the atomic bombings. I like to remind them that THEY started the war. When they reply that it was inhuman to “murder” civilians …. I ask them, “What about Nanking?” That tends to shut them up.

      • Hate_me says:

        I find no small amount of beauty in the fact that the Purple Heart medals that we’re still giving out today were all manufactured in anticipation of the havoc of a WWII invasion of Japan. It’s a testament to that generation that we still have a surplus after 75 years.

        As devastating as the bombs and their aftermath were, dropping them was the right decision and saved millions of lives – and possibly an entire culture.

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    There was a Trump sticker on it.
    You can see where they tried to removed it.

  3. SFC D says:

    It’s a religious photo. It’s a portrayal of St. John Moses Browning watching over the fine citizens of Okinawa. Brethren and sistren, let us all now turn to Revelations 19:11…

  4. Devtun says:

    SecDef Lloyd Vader is highly displeased. Some poor company or field grade is gonna get force choked.

  5. Fyrfighter says:

    Seems it’s long past time to tell the whiny little bitches to just fuck right off. If they’re offended, scared, etc, maybe they should just crawl in a hole and die… I’m done playing these games, it’s high time everyone was..

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    (Sigh) Some day, I will take the Marines aside and show them how to crop out unnecessary items such as machine gunnnzzz in a photo. And zoom in a little bit with the lens, fellas.

    Geez, people get their undies in a bunch over nothing these days. Maybe it’s time social media was sheetcanned.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The crybaby snowflakery is too much.

  8. Hack Stone says:

    When Mothra start rampaging over downtown Naha, they will wish those Marines were flying overhead.

  9. The Other Whitey says:

    My God, Marine combat aircraft actually have GUNS on them! Oh, the humanity! The horror!

    Okay, seriously, are they just being karenish pussies, or are they still being butthurt over losing the war?

    • Hack Stone says:

      A few years back the Japanese Communist Party on Okinawa had a shit fit because a US Military vehicle used a school driveway to do a K turn when they took a wrong turn. The children in the schoolyard were “horrified”.

      Back about the time Hack was leaving Oki for the last time, the “peace activists” were holding a protest against the US military imperialism on the island. Their participation numbers were dwarfed by the number of Okinawans who went on base for an open house event, where they bought all of the pizzas and beer from the PX.

  10. IDC SARC says:

    Shikata ga nai, bitches ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  11. HMCS(FMF) ret says:


    Damn, where’s Godzilla and Rodan when you need them?